Does the US want the UK to ditch Huawei?

Raab and Pompeo set for a meeting in Washington where reports suggest the Chinese telecoms giant is up for discussion

Mike Pompeo

The US is reportedly making a last-ditch effort to convince the UK to ban Huawei equipment from its 5G infrastructure plans.  

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to press the UK's Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, during a meeting in Washington on Thursday, according to Reuters

A government spokesperson said that it continues to consider its position on "high-risk vendors" and that a decision will be made "in due course". 

According to Reuters, the UK has been weighing up US allegations that Huawei's tech will be used by the Chinese government for espionage against industry warnings that banning it could cost billions of pounds. Sources suggests a final decision will be made later this month.

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The Chinese firm is a leader in telecommunications technology, including 5G equipment, but has fallen foul of the US government. It's been on a trade blacklist since the start of 2019, cutting off trade deals with US-based suppliers

Washington had planned to send a delegation, including deputy national security advisor Matt Pottinger, to meet with UK officials this week, according to Reuter's sources. However, that was cancelled at the last minute due to bad weather.

The US has reportedly been pressing allies to consider its security concerns over both Huawei and China for a number of years. On Monday, reports suggested that Pompeo used the state visit of the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to share US intelligence reports on Chinese security concerns. 

Netherlands government had granted a trading license to ASML and it had set up a deal with an unnamed Chinese company. ASML specialises in chip manufacturing using a process called lithography. Following the meeting with the US, however, the government decided not to renew the company's license. 

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